ISLAMABAD: All the 25 terrorists who belonged to the TTP were killed in a major operation at the CTD Center on Tuesday afternoon. Three commandos of the Special Services Group (SSG) embraced martyrdom during operation while some others sustained injuries.
The Director-General of the ISPR Major-Gen. Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry stated this on Tuesday night to share with media and people the details of operation against TTP at the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) police station in the Bannu.
The ISPR director general said that on Dec 18, a detained TTP terrorist overpowered a constable at the CTD center located inside Bannu Cantt. The TTP militant snatched weapon from the constable and freed 34 other terrorists detained there.
“As soon as they came out of lockup, the terrorists got more weapons from the arms depot and started firing in the compound,” he added.
Maj-Gen. Ahmed Sharif said that the terrorists martyred one CTD constable, took a junior commissioned officer hostage and they demanded safe passage to Afghanistan.
He said the government turned down their demands, launched a major operation on Tuesday and the security forces fought with militants bravely and killed 25 terrorists.
Earlier, on Tuesday, the security officials resumed the operation as the TTP militants neither surrendered nor released the CTD officials to whom they had taken hostage. Security personnel belonging to the FC, CTD and local police have launched a joint operation against TTP militants on Tuesday noon.
In Bannu, the administration has suspended the cellphone service and also declared an emergency in the hospitals.
According to locals, sounds of bullets can be heard from inside and outside the CTD center after the security forces initiated action against TTP men.
As per media reports, TTP militants were seeking safe passage from the CTD center along with their fighters who were being interrogated at the center.
The security forces and TTP militants continued talks for the third day on Tuesday and the security forces initiated action after the failure of the talks.
Earlier, the standoff between the security forces and banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants continued till Tuesday as the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) centre in Bannu remained under the militants’ control.
Late Sunday, the militants incarcerated in the CTD centre, took control of the building after they snatched weapons from their investigators and took a number of law enforcers hostages. They had also fired upon the security personnel, reportedly injuring a CTD man and a soldier. The militants had demanded a safe passage to Afghanistan.
Despite the passage of 24 hours, there has been no breakthrough in talks with the militants for the release of the hostages. An official source said that the standoff continued and there was “no breakthrough in negotiations” with the militants who had taken over the compound. “The top priority is to free the hostages from the captivity of militants,” the source added.
In order to neutralise the situation, sources said, law enforcement agencies have decided to engage a cleric, Maulana Ahmadullah, from the Domail area of the city.
The cleric will be asked to reason with the TTP operatives who had taken CTD officials and other inmates as captives.
Meanwhile, the situation remained tense in the district bordering North Waziristan. The cantonment area where the CTD compound is located remained sealed, as police and security forces beefed up security, asking the residents to remain indoors.
The compound had also been cordoned off. “The roads leading to the cantonment area were also closed and policemen were deployed in the area,” a resident said. Another resident said that the situation was tense and fear persisted in the area. “The standoff and reports [videos of the compound] circulating on social media has aggravated our concerns,” he said.
The official source said that police had increased patrolling the area besides tightening checking of individuals and motorists on pickets. Keeping in view the volatile law and order situation, security forces also imposed a curfew on roads leading to North Waziristan and Bannu city. Meanwhile, in view of the precarious situation in the city, the deputy commissioner said all government and private educational institutions in Bannu will remain closed on Tuesday (Dec 20).